Legal Ethics

Celebrity Divorce Lawyer Accused of Calling Conn. Attorneys 'Sleazy' Is Sanctioned $35K

A New York divorce lawyer with high-profile celebrity clients was ordered to pay nearly $35,000 in sanctions after opposing lawyers claimed he called Connecticut lawyers “sleazy” in a courthouse tirade.

Judge Lynda Munro of Middletown Superior Court in Connecticut imposed the sanction last week against lawyer William Beslow but did not revoke his pro hac vice status allowing him to handle a divorce case in the state, the Daily Business Review reports.

One of the lawyers who had sought to revoke Beslow’s pro hac vice status, M. Hatcher “Reese” Norris, told the publication that the $35,000 sanction includes attorney fees and a $7,500 payment to the Connecticut Client Security Fund.

Norris had claimed in a motion that Beslow had yelled in a Stamford courthouse that “Connecticut lawyers are sleazy” and called a law firm associate “a little piece of shit.” The motion also claims Beslow did not disclose a $500 sanction for a frivolous suit over a damaged umbrella in a prior case for which he obtained pro hac vice admission.

Beslow claimed he made “injudicious statements” but not the exact words alleged, according to a court document cited in the story. He said he was angry because he had traveled to the state from Massachusetts for a deposition in the wake of Hurricane Irene, only to learn that it had been called off.

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